The journey begins...

Donaldson-web-profile-pic Posted by Alastair Donaldson on Tue, 08 Jun 2010 | 8 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Hi everyone!

Well I guess this in some ways could be considered the start of my STEP trip to Burundi with the familiar curtain raiser, my first ever solo prayer letter. I just pray that the Lord will give me the words to put into this letter and that it will give everyone a good idea of my state of mind at present.

This last 10 months has been an amazing time in my life since returning with the Burundi Meta team in August 2009. The Lord blessed us all so much on that trip and in the time since. From a personal perspective, not only did he bring me to an amazing country with amazing people but He has blessed me with some amazing friends from the team and CMS in general – my life has been transformed through it all. Such amazing love it’s really difficult at times to comprehend.

In addition to this I was very aware that the Lord had also given me the desire to return to Burundi and over this past year one amazing thing after another has occurred to ensure that this was indeed possible. Not least that as a change from my previous occupation, the Lord has brought me into lecturing within the Further Education sector and because of this I am able to go to Burundi again for 3 months when within my previous job this wouldn’t have been practical. So many of the other guys on the team have encouraged me greatly also to return and I owe them all so much.

The thought of going away for three months is really exciting. However I would possess a heart of stone if I was to say that I wouldn’t miss many friends, neighbours and family from here while I’m gone. Also not being able to attend my church will be hard but I know that everyone is praying for me and that makes all the difference. Last Saturday (29th May) a couple of friends of mine organized a barbecue for me and about 30 people from all spheres of my life turned up and it was an amazing evening. My sincerest thanks go out to Robbie & Joyce for their efforts, to everyone who turned up and I’m going to miss you all much. It goes without saying also that I’m going to miss my mother and father immensely and they are such wonderful parents and help me so much with everything I go to do. I’m sure that they think – to coin an Irish phrase – that I’m off my rocker sometimes but they still love me and I’m so privileged. I will miss my two brothers also and little niece and nephew but our paths will cross again soon.

I can’t thank everyone at CMS enough for how much they’ve helped me over this past two years and this last year in particular. I truly have met some wonderful people through this avenue and they have demonstrated such patience and love with me every step off the way and I owe them all so much. In particular I would like to thank Niall, Gillian, Roger and Sarah for everything. You are all amazing people and also my congratulations go to Sarah and her fiance again as they get married in my absence. May God bless you both abundantly in the beginning of your life together.

I would also like to thank all the other guys who helped me along the way such as those guys who interviewed me for the STEP programme up in Ballintoy. A big thank you to Alan, Margaret, Barbara and Linda for this. So many people have been so generous. God has really provided when it has come to things like finances, paperwork etc and it’s so humbling to see how many people want to do something for you when they find out you’re going to serve the Lord.

So in summary I would just like to thank each and every person who has accompanied me on this journey to date.

I would also appreciate it greatly and thank you in advance if you could pray for me whilst I am away.

The first two weeks I reckon are going to be particularly challenging as I acclimatize to my new environment. I also would value your prayers and indeed would pray myself that the Lord could use me in a mighty way when in Burundi and that I could be extremely effective for Him whilst out there. At the end of the day the way I see it is that whilst the physical construction of the buildings is and will be important, the most important thing is building God’s kingdom on earth and making disciples for Him. Please pray that I can be effective in this area. I am also looking so forward to meeting old acquaintances and making new friends whilst out there and so please pray that this might be so. Finally please continue to pray for Burundi in general and for the elections ongoing at the moment. Please pray that they remain peaceful and democratic and that the result of them will be further stability and prosperity for this amazing country.

It only remains for me to say that I love you all and that I will see you all again very soon, God willing. You are all truly great people and may God bless you in everything you do.

I will pray for you all,


Alastair Donaldson


Victor Stephens said Tue, 08 Jun 2010 07:54PM
Hey Bro. Amohoro. Well we did tell you out there last year that you'd be back. So glad you've got this chance, (so jealous) (oops there goes the 10th Commandment). Seriously tho, as i told you. The Lord honours those who honour him. You know that the prayers of your Church of the Epiphany family will always be there for you. Have a really good time & God bless. Vic
Bobbie said Wed, 09 Jun 2010 12:36PM
Hi Alastair, Thinking of you as you return to Burundi. Pass on my greetings and remember stay close to the Lord and he will stay close to you. Much love in Jesus, Bobbie
Lynda said Fri, 11 Jun 2010 11:23PM
Hi Alastair, so glad you arrived safely.Will be continuing in prayer for you during your time in Burundi. Please give my love to everyone. I`m sure a warm welcome awaited you. You had endeared yourself to everyone while we were there last year. I know you will be a blessing to all whose lives you touch. May God richly bless you. In His wonderful Name, Lynda.
Kenny said Sun, 13 Jun 2010 06:00PM
Well Babba, Glad you've arrived safe and sound. Hoping that the place is as you remember it. I'm sure you'll soon be getting down to some useful graft whilst using the skills you've acquired over the years. I wish you well with your ministry outreach work also and I'm confident that you will make real inroads. Afterall we Donaldson's have powers of persuasion in abundance - it's part of our genetic make-up! Take care and keep me updated with how things develop. Your bigger bro, Kenny
Victor Stephens said Sun, 13 Jun 2010 10:28PM
Hey Bro, hope u've learnedsome new songs to teach them over there, i mean the 'Boys from Co. Armagh' is fine but.....some new ones wouldn't go amis! lol Hope everything goin well. I know the Lord is looking after you, just as you honour Him. Love to everyone. God bless Imana Shimwe
Heather Harper said Tue, 15 Jun 2010 10:08AM
Enjoy your time there!
Muriel Donaldson said Fri, 02 Jul 2010 12:11PM
Hi Alastair, You've been away now nearly four weeks and I miss you so much. You were always there to talk to and email is just not the same.Your encouragement for me in my christian life always gave me such hope but I know Alastair you have so much to give that the peoples of Burundi will be blessed in having you and I will look to September when you return. I pray you can bring God's love to many in Burundi. God Bless and I love you.
Jan said Sun, 04 Jul 2010 05:51PM
Yo wee Al How can I even begin to say that I am so blessed with you as my brother. I only just found this page of your updates and am so blessed. You have such a wonderful heart and I thank God for all that He is doing through your life. I have just received an email from you as well, today I feel very blessed :)- so much communication at once. Louise had been saying the other day what a wonderful pastor/ministor you will make one day - you really make the effort for everyone and just want to help meet peoples needs in the wonderful way you have. Anyways I must go on, miss you a lot but pleased that your other family in Christ are taking such good care of you, pray that that continues - love u wee sis Jan xxx

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